POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Chambliss calls for intervention in Syria

One of Georgia’s U.S. senators told military leaders last week he believes the U.S. should step into the bloody conflict in Syria.

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is vice-chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, stressed the need for action by the U.S. and U.N. Security Council to prevent the deaths of civilians in Syria and to ensure the conflict does not spread to other parts of the region.

The comments were made as he questioned the nominee for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, and nominee for vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral James A. Winnefeld.

“There has been virtually uncontrolled slaughter going on inside of Syria,” Chambliss said. “Even the president’s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations said yesterday in her hearing that ‘the failure of the U.N. Security Council to respond to the slaughter in Syria is a disgrace that history will judge harshly.’ I agree with that. But it’s also true the United States has sat by and watched what’s happening over there.

“Here is my dilemma, General. You are the top military adviser to the president. Syria is the most significant internal military conflict going on today. It has the capability of providing future unrest to that part of the world that may be permanent. There’s been no change in U.S. policy from a military standpoint in Syria during your two years,” Chambliss said during the questioning. “Now, if we confirm you for another two years, then is there going to be a change in policy in Syria over the next two years? Or are we just going to keep doing what we’re doing, which is watching innocent people slaughtered?”

By the way, the U.N. ambassador nominee has some roots in Atlanta.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Samantha Power, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and human rights activist, grew up in Georgia and graduated from Lakeside High School in DeKalb County.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.